God’s Saving Word: Hope
Romans 1:1-17: Today we begin reading excerpts from Romans, a letter in which the apostle Paul provides a detailed summary of the good news about Jesus Christ. Paul wrote this letter about 55-56 A.D. to introduce himself to the followers of Christ in Rome, who likely included new Gentile Christians as well as Jewish Christians. In today’s reading, Paul points out that he is an apostle called to preach the good news. He offers a prayer of thanks for the Roman Christians and states his confidence in the gospel which is “God’s power to save all who believe.”
1 From Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus and an apostle chosen and called by God to preach his Good News.
2 The Good News was promised long ago by God through his prophets, as written in the Holy Scriptures. 3 It is about his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: as to his humanity, he was born a descendant of David; 4 as to his divine holiness, he was shown with great power to be the Son of God by being raised from death. 5 Through him God gave me the privilege of being an apostle for the sake of Christ, in order to lead people of all nations to believe and obey. 6 This also includes you who are in Rome, whom God has called to belong to Jesus Christ.
7 And so I write to all of you in Rome whom God loves and has called to be his own people:
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because the whole world is hearing about your faith. 9 God is my witness that what I say is true—the God whom I serve with all my heart by preaching the Good News about his Son. God knows that I remember you 10 every time I pray. I ask that God in his good will may at last make it possible for me to visit you now. 11 For I want very much to see you, in order to share a spiritual blessing with you to make you strong. 12 What I mean is that both you and I will be helped at the same time, you by my faith and I by yours.
13 You must remember, my friends, that many times I have planned to visit you, but something has always kept me from doing so. I want to win converts among you also, as I have among other Gentiles. 14 For I have an obligation to all peoples, to the civilized and to the savage, to the educated and to the ignorant. 15 So then, I am eager to preach the Good News to you also who live in Rome.
The Power of the Gospel
16 I have complete confidence in the gospel; it is God’s power to save all who believe, first the Jews and also the Gentiles. 17 For the gospel reveals how God puts people right with himself: it is through faith from beginning to end. As the scripture says, “The person who is put right with God through faith shall live.”
Today’s Key Verse: Romans 1:17b
As the scripture says, “The person who is put right with God through faith shall live.”
Reread verses 2-7. How does Paul describe the Good News? How does he describe what he is called to do? What does the “Good News” mean to you? According to Paul, what is the power of the gospel (verses 16-17)?
Holy God, I have complete confidence in the gospel, knowing that it is your power to save all who believe and that, through faith, I am put right with you. Thank you, Lord God, for your saving love. Amen.
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Romans 3:21-31: The apostle Paul describes how we are put right with God.